It wasn’t long ago that HTC and Oculus had a competing launch window for their VR headsets, with both systems selling out almost immediately and backorders piling up for months into the year. Oculus seemed to suffer the most from a supply shortage, causing significant delays that left many scratching their heads when retail units began selling in-store at Best Buy before pre-orders were even shipped.
Now it appears HTC is surging past Oculus even further with their Vive, announcing that they will be shipping out all orders within 72 hours, while simultaneously expanding its retail availability and demo locations.
In a press-release Tuesday, HTC stated that the Vive can be purchased on Vive.com in 24 countries and will be shipped within 2-3 business days of purchase. If you’re interested in picking up the VR system in-store, the Vive will available in select Microsoft Stores, GameStop and Micro Center locations; pre-orders placed through these retailers will be fulfilled beginning this week as well.
Additionally, HTC will have Vive demos in 100 retail locations across America, an expansion from the existing demo locations at Microsoft Stores and GameStop locations. In April, we stopped by a GameStop demo location as the company was only beginning to get locations trained and setup to show customers the future of VR. Microsoft Stores will expand from 29 to 51 locations, GameStop will increase demo locations from 10 to 40, and Micro Center will add 5 more locations for a total of 10. The demos are all open to the public, but you can probably expect a line. You can check the full list of participating locations on their site.
“Since beginning pre-orders at the end of February and shipping in early April, we’ve seen incredible interest in Vive,” said Dan O’Brien, VP of VR at HTC. “Working with our retail partners has only enhanced that momentum because more people are able to try the only truly immersive virtual reality offering on the market today.”
The $799 Vive is developed in partnership by HTC and Valve, touting over 200+ games available on Steam VR. If you haven’t seen some of the whacky things we’ve done in the room-scale VR system, be sure to check out night in a VR bar with Pool Nation below.